Arizona woman serves as leader in farming

Arizona woman serves as leader in farming

A big part of the recent American Farm Bureau National Convention was the participation of the AFBF's Women's Leadership program, which empowers women to be strong and effective leaders.

One of those leaders is Arizona's Sherry Saylor, who is paving the way for future generations of women who choose agriculture as a way of life.

Saylor farms cotton, wheat and alfalfa with her husband, Rick.

She was elected to the AFB Women's Committee in 1990 and has been a member of the Arizona Farm Bureau since 1974.

She is currently the Vice Chair of the AFBF Women's Leadership Committee and serves on the AFBF for Agriculture.

Saylor described how she works off the farm but stays involved.

"The demographic of farming is very interesting. I'm one of the 80 percent of farm women who work off the farm, which is kind of unique because many people maybe were driving tractor or irrigating. But what has helped our farm the most is if I provide some stability, cash flow, help with insurance and make it a full partnership with my husband. The neat thing about it is I'm still very involved in the farm, in the decisions that are made and I still run for parts or help on occasional things physically out on the farm. But mainly I'm promoting agriculture where I work and how I operate my life."

Farming in Arizona, has been its own experience for Saylor.

"You know when I moved out to Arizona I was in my early twenties and hadn't really been from a farm background. But I had seen farms in Houston. What was so unique in Arizona, we had 320 growing days a year which made it possible to more than double our per-acre yield in Arizona, which I thought was a real interesting thing. The fact that we always had sunshine, we irrigated everything. So we control a lot of the elements that go into farming, which is a huge part of farming is being able to control the inputs that you put into the farm. So, it's been interesting," she said.

Saylor explained why she enjoys farming.

"Sometimes I feel like a rock star living out here in the country because there's only 2 percent of us left in production agriculture. And every day I wake up and my view is of a field, whether its cotton or wheat or alfalfa. And I feel very privileged to be part of the 2 percent that are actually in the production agriculture."

She shared why agriculture is so important to her.

"Agriculture is the basic industry. We all need to eat and wear clothes. We provide food and fiber, and fuel now to this country and 30 percent of the world. So it's exciting to be a part of this amazing industry."

This report is from our partners at the Arizona Farm Bureau.

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